tv Bloomberg Bottom Line Bloomberg March 24, 2015 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT
mark: from bloomberg headquarters in new york, this is "autumn line." -- "bottom line." to our viewers here in the united states and those of you joining us from around the world, welcome. we have full coverage of the stocks and stories making headlines. su keenan follows the commodities beat. peter cook is at the white house as president obama and the afghan president prepared to
hold a news conference. and rudy gutenberg will join us from the paris bureau with more on the crash in the ops with 150 people aboard. but first, let's get you some of the details. germanwings flight 195 lost altitude for more than eight minutes and then crashed in the french alps. the french interior minister says the black box has been located at the site. this is the worst air accident on french soil in three decades. rudy, what is the situation at the crash site at this hour? rudy: rescuers do seem to have reached of the site. it was initially very difficult to get people there. helicopters unable to land on
some 60-degree slopes. pictures of the site show those very steep slopes and small pieces of debris scattered all over the place. as i said, rescue teams have reached the site. mountain police were the first to get there. researchers on their way as well. mark: do we have any details on what the weather conditions were like at the time of the crash? rudy: the weather seems to have been decent, very light wind no thunderstorms in the area at the time. obviously, flying over mountains, there can be turbulence. but there was nothing going on that seemed out of the ordinary. also, the airspeed and the wind at higher altitudes did not seem to be exceptionally strong nothing that immediately points to a reason for the crash. mark: i we hearing anything
about the nationality of those aboard the plane? rudy: as far as we know for now, there were at least 67 german people on board, including a school class of 16 students and to teachers, to instructors, as well as 45 people with spanish surnames. this was a flight a european flight. barcelona to dusseldorf. there might be other european nationalities on board. but that would seem to cover the large part of the passenger list. peter: rudy rittenberg joining us from paris on the latest on flight 9525. let's get you to some of the other top stories. the so-called core inflation rate rose more than expected last month. prices excluding food and fuel were up 2/10 of 1% in february.
prices rose the same amount as fuel prices stabilized. policymakers are watching for inflation to pick up as they consider raising interest rate for the first time since 2006. new home sales rose to a unexpected 7% high last month. it to beat even the most optimistic forecast of economists surveyed by bloomberg. a stronger job market may have helped. james bullard says it is good that the central bank has gotten rid of patients. fed policymakers removed the word fromlast week. he told a conference in london that the u.s. economy is heating up. mr. bullard: i think it will go below 3% this year.
i think that is going to be relatively speaking boom times for the u.s. economy compared to where we have been over the last five years. mark: he said the fed risks running behind the curve on inflation if it does not start insulate -- start raising rates soon. one of the biggest names in wall street is heading to silicon valley. ruth parameters leaving to take the same job at google. she has been with morgan stanley for eight years. she grew up in silicon valley and is a member of stanford's board of trustees. that is a look at the top stories we are following this tuesday. more on the greek debt crisis. a month after a bailout extension, the government is still streaming to meet its obligations and come up with an economic plan. president of the hellenic chamber of commerce, thank you for your time today. let's get some historical
context. how did greece get to this point? >> a lot of things went wrong in the past. the country was not operating at its full potential in the past. suddenly, we were faced with what hit all over the world. greece was not prepared for that. which led to the situation we have today. mark: what is it going to get best what is it going to take to get the prime minister and angela merkel on the same page? the emergency merger will it be sufficient enough to get the greek economy some momentum going forward? >> i think the situation is much better than it was a week ago. they had a very good meeting. they found common ground last week. the meeting from what i understand went quite well. a lot of of the hostility is gone today, i think. mark: the chamber, what sense
does it have that a deal can be reached? >> a deal will be reached. it is for the common interest of both sides. it seems we are on the same page. mark: should foreign investors be concerned? >> not yet, i would say. it has been frozen since last october as we were headed to elections. but today, as things will develop, greece will now develop a good program, i believe within the next two weeks. mark: even as greece is trying to regroup right now, are there opportunities for investors? >> i think there are very good opportunities. this will be affirmed as soon as we have a credible agreement, a viable agreement with our credit source. mark: greece has been effectively locked out of the capital markets.
what type of structural reforms are going to have to be put in place to get those markets the sense they can have confidence full faith and credit in greece, going forward? >> i think we have concentrated a lot on the fiscal reforms. so the country came out with [indiscernible] much earlier than everybody expected. today, we have to concentrate on structural reforms open up our services, expedite justice, if you like, a more stable taxation system. these are the many forms we have to go through. mark: revenues are fully sure. citizens are already squeezed because of the austerity measures. because of ese measures, is there any way greece can overcome this tax shortfall? >> it is indeed difficult after five years off austerity -- years of austerity.
people are really squeezed. this is why we need to move to growth reforms. we need to grow our economy so there is enough wealth made, distributed, and people can pay their taxes. this is expected of greece and this is what the prime minister has vowed to go through. mark: a lot of people around the world have been watching carefully what is going on in greece for the past five years. can you give them what it's like on the ground? what have these austerity measures done to your country? >> the real economy has suffered because we have managed to achieve fiscal control station -- fiscal consolidation and surplus. unemployment is about 20% today. the unemployment among the youth is almost 60%. mark: in the larger picture,
given what the greek people have had to go through, given the austerity measures one of the things that the chamber, that officials in greece have to do is to give people hope that there are better days ahead. how hard is your job right now? >> i think it is very hard, although the people are very hopeful. they have voted for a new government with a new plan for austerity measures. the government has vowed to put an end to austerity measures and put through a new package of reforms that will start growth in the country. mark: we are getting headlines here that the greek president and the german finance minister talked on the phone. how important is that to the overall dialogue between your two countries? >> i think it is very important. they german finance minister is one of the stratus people in the european union, in the eurozone. so he is very important.
germany and the european union in general, the eurozone, are in favor of balanced consolidated budgets which is quite the opposite from the american view. greece today needs to move away from a sturdy measures towards growth. we need some time to come up with our own plan. mark: i have to ask you something about the billionaire investor george soros. he said that the changes of -- the chances, excuse me, of greece made in the euro area is now 50/50 and the country could go "down the drain." >> i believe this was a comment he made last week. perhaps lacks the week -- perhaps last week it was so. i think we are in common ground with their creditors today and we have a good chance to reach a viable deal by next week. mark: president of the american
mark: welcome back to "bottom line." a french interior ministry official is telling the associated press that the black rocks has been located on the side of the french alps where a plane crashed from barcelona to dusseldorf. facebook may get in the news business of sorts. the new york times says facebook has held talks with half a dozen you companies.
facebook me start testing in the next few months. as first potential partners "the new york times," national geographic and buzz feed. rowland smith may get up to $47 million following office depot's planned sale to staples, including more than $39 million in equity awards. smith will get almost $8 million more if his role changes after the acquisition. office depot shares are up 79% since smith became ceo in november 2013. coming up, president obama and afghan president ostroff ghani hold a press -- ppresident after ashraf ghani.
the two have been meeting throughout the morning. i request from president ghani to stall the withdrawal of troops from his country. peter cook has more from that meeting. peter: you will probably hear a lot from both sides about the continued cooperation between afghanistan and this white house and the obama administration, the good relationship they have struck with this new president ashraf ghani. but the true issue that will dominate, there are 9800 or so u.s. troops in afghanistan. the president's plan called for the number to be cut by half in 2015. and by the time he lives -- he leaves office in 2017, that number would be down to nothing. president ghani has been asking
the u.s. to slow that troop withdrawal and give some serious consideration. we will get an answer most likely in this press conference. that will be a big change for this president. you know he committed to wind down the u.s. operation in afghanistan. and he is -- and if he reverses that, it will be significant. mark: talk about the switch in tone from president ghani and his predecessor karzai. peter: you can tell the body language. total breath of fresh air. a very different tone. very appreciative of the help to afghanistan over the years especially the sacrifice of u.s. troops. more than 2000 u.s. troops have died in afghanistan since 2001. undoubtedly, we will hear president ghani again very
appreciative. won reason why the president would be willing to slow down the troop withdrawal, somewhat maybe as a gesture of good faith. mark: how much political pushback would president obama get for slowing down the withdrawal of u.s. forces? peter: this was a pledge he made as president and as a candidate, that he would wind down the u.s. wars in iraq and afghanistan. for him to reverse course in any sort of way would be significant. but there is a big cloud hanging over things and that is what has happened in iraq with the rise of the islamic state and the fact that u.s. troops withdrew from iraq. we have seen what has happened in the wake of that. that has colored the debate over afghanistan to some extent. there's going to be less push back if the president makes this decision. there will be some from his supporters in particular on the democratic side. but a lot of folks on capitol
hill, if they are on the fence are willing to let the troops stay. mark: peter, thanks. we are standing by for that press conference at the white house between president obama and the afghan president ghani ashraf ghani. join us a set -- president ashraf ghani. join us this afternoon. we will speak with the first candidates jumping into the presidential race. that is coming up at 5:00 p.m. new york time. tonight on "charlie rose," charlie's rest will be mike allen, the chief white house correspondent for politico and the editor for the playbook blog. up next, highlights of reince chilcote -- ryan chilcote interview.
mark: we have breaking news ahead of the joint news conference from president obama and ghani. the white house releasing a statement. . the u.s. will keep 9800 troops in afghanistan through the end of 2015. the 2016 u.s. drawdown will be decided later. we will continue to follow that. that is expected to be one of the topics of discussion during the joint news conference. ukraine is optimistic in clinching a debt deal.
>> i am extra narrowly -- i am extraordinarily concerned. unfortunately, the cease-fire is very fragile. artillery should have moved back in accordance with the minsk agreement. i think ukraine has borne an incredible burden in this war. we have had over 6000 deaths, 1500 wounded. this is one of the largest humanitarian crises in european history, since world war ii. ryan: how would a resumption of violence affect kiev's financial position. >> we have already invested 5% of our gdp international security and law enforcement. it is already a heavy burden on
the budget. i would guess that further destruction, first and foremost human life is critical in but the cost of the economy continues. we spend on average $5 million a day defending ourselves from an unprovoked aggression. ryan: in the fourth quarter the contraction was close to 15%. industrial output contracted close to 20% in february and january. what should we expect in terms of the first quarter now that we are pretty close to the end of it given the fact that some of the hostilities continue? >> i think this first quarter has been very hard for us. support of that does not show any robust growth in that region.
mark: welcome back to the second half-hour of "bottom line" on bloomberg television. let's get you some of the day's other top stories. a french interior ministry official says a black box has been located at the side of the french alps at the plane crash that was traveling from barcelona to dusseldorf. let's check the price of crude
oil and the close of floor trading at this hour. it is unchanged at 47.45. we are waiting for president obama and afghanistan's new president ashraf ghani. they are holding a prince conference in the east room of the white house. we told you a few moments ago the headlines coming across that the united states has decided that troop drawdown in afghanistan will go slower than originally anticipated. at first, there was word that the troop drawdown would involve about 1000 american troops staying in afghanistan at least until approximately 2019. but the word we are now hearing is that the drawdown will go slower than initially anticipated. no doubt part of the conversation today in the oval office between president obama and his afghan counterpart. president obama had campaigned
on this when he was the democratic nominee, something he has discussed throughout his tenure in the white house. let's go to washington live on bloomberg television. president obama: before i began i want to say that our thoughts and our prayers are with our friends in europe, especially the people of germany and spain following a terrible airplane crash in france. it is particularly heartbreaking because it apparently includes a loss of so many children, some of them infants. i called german chancellor merkel and i hope to speak with president rajoy of spain later today to express of the condolences of the american people and to offer whatever assistance we can as they investigate what has proven to be an awful tragedy. our teams are in close contact
and will work to confirm how many americans may have been on board your germany and spain are among our strongest allies in the world and our message to them is that as their steadfast friend and ally, america stands with them at this moment of sorrow. now, it is with great pleasure to welcome president pres. ghani: to the white house. he spent many years here as a student and a scholar. he happened to go to columbia university where we both studied. and then spent time at the world bank down the street from here. so here's life reflects in many ways the friendship and mutual respect between americans and afghans. and mr. president i want to extend to you the warmest of welcomes. president ghani's presence here today underscores afghanistan's
progress. in last use election, millions of afghans defied the threats from the taliban and bravely cast their ballots. in the spirit of comp romise, president ghani and abdulla insured the most peaceful transfer of power in its history. it reflects the strength and determination of the afghan people. the government signed a bilateral security agreement between our two countries. on december 31, after 13 years, america's combat mission in afghanistan came to a responsible end. afghan forces now have full responsibly for security across their country. some hundred 33,000 afghans -- some 133 ,000 afghans
serve in their military. they grow stronger month by month. today, we honor many men and women and children who have given their lives for their country. we salute the more than 2200 americans, patriots, who made the ultimate sacrifice in afghanistan, and the many more who were wounded. this morning, president ghani and dr. abdulla visited arlington cemetery. we know it meant a lot to the families. we will see the bonds again of our people displayed when he has a chance to address congress tomorrow. with a new government in afghanistan and with the end of our combat mission this visit is an opportunity to begin a new chapter between our two nations.
pres. ghani: and dr. abdulla, i thank you for your support. yesterday, they had a chance to spend time in camp david with our respective teams and had excellent discussions on how we could move forward together. today, guided by our strategic hardship, with focused on several areas. first, we agree to continue to keep in place our close security cooperations. afghanistan remains a very dangerous place and insurgents still launch attacks, including cowardly suicide bombings against civilians. president ghani is pursuing security forces and human rights. the united states will continue to train, advise, and assist afghan security forces. as we announced yesterday we will work with congress to
sustain police and troops through 2017. at the same time, we will continue to conduct targeted operations and we agreed to maintain a dialogue on our counterterrorism permission in the years ahead. at our peak four years ago, the united states had more than 100,000 troops in afghanistan. in support of today's narrow missions, we have just under threat -- just under 10,000. last year, i announced a timeline for drawing down our forces further and i made clear that we are determined to preserve the names our troops have won. i have decided we will maintain our current posture of 9800 troops through the end of this year. the specific trajectory of the 2016 drawdown will be established later this year to enable our final consolidation
for a kabul-based presence by the end of 2016. this flexibility represents invigorated relationship with afghanistan and preventing it from being used to launch terrorist attacks. reconciliation and a political settlement remain the fullest way to achieve a withdrawal of american troops in a way that safeguards international interests and peace in afghanistan, as well as u.s. national security interests. second since the best way is to ensure a political settlement, we will continue to support an afghan-led reconciliation process. president ghani, you have shown leadership to reach out to pakistan. afghanistan and the united states agreeing with the taliban must do, which is break with al
qaeda and renounce violence and abide by afghan laws comically protections for women and minorities -- afghan laws including protections for women and minorities. we discussed the urgent need with parliament support to see a full cabinet. president ghani in your inaugural address, he spoke forcefully about the need to combat corruption, uphold the rule of law, support democratic institutions, and the united states very much commend you for those instructions. you moved many afghans. finally, we will continue to support the development that underpins a stability and improves the lives of the afghan people. the years, there have been major gains, dramatic improvements in public health, life inspect and
see, literacy including for millions of girls who are in school. president ghani is a leading expert in developing and i have been impressed by the reforms he is pursuing to make afghanistan more self-reliant. k wants to empower afghans in these efforts. that's why the partnership we announced yesterday, economic assistance will go through afghan institutions in support of afghan priorities with an emphasis on accountability performance and achieving results. in closing, i would note, as many of you know, president ghani is by trade another probably just which is my mother. it is said the purpose of at the apology is to make the world safe for human -- safe from human indifference. i believe that they progress we made in this visit will help to advance the goal for which so many of your citizens, mr. resident, have sacrificed over the years, the goal of making
our two countries and the world safer. president ghani chief executive abella, thank you for your partnership. our commitment to the afghanistan people that will indoor. -- that will endure. president ghani. president ghani: i would like to express deep sympathies to german and spanish families and government. both of these countries took part in the isf coalition. they have a major commitment and sacrifice in afghanistan. i would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to those common sacrifices and take the opportunity to pay tribute to the 2015 servicemen and women
more than 22,000 american soldiers have been wounded in action, numerous contractors and others. you stood shoulder to shoulder with us and i would like to say thank you. i would also like to thank the emerick and taxpayer -- the american taxpayer for his and her hard-earned tax dollars that have enabled us. yesterday, i saw a young girl. her father came out of retirement, out of reserves to serve again in afghanistan. she is sending a care package every week to her father. and i want to thank her and the father of other american
children who are making sure that their parents are helping us and our standing next to us. greece, -- reece, i promise you that your afghan sisters are in school and those sisters are dreaming. hopefully, we will one day see an afghan woman president. we now have four women in the cabinet. 20% of our cabinet are women. i hope that other countries will match it. [laughter] we are intent and thank you [indiscernible] delighted to have an opportunity to speak with mr. obama. she has devoted her life to the most underprivileged in our
country and all are committed to make sure that those who live below poverty will live with dignity and one day, not too far in the distant future, we'll see prosperity. grateful for the reception you have afforded. your national security team has gone out of its way to engage in an intensive encumbrance of discussion. both of us -- intensive and comprehensive discussion. the government of national unity will be an enduring phenomena in both of us. and for the unity against the division that our opponents had
hoped for. this unity is a reflection of the desire to overcome the last 200 years of our political history where rarely public figures have chosen their country before themselves. we are committed in this regard to emulate the founding fathers and mothers of the united states, or national interests will stand about personal or factional interests. i'm glad that the transition is completed. you fulfilled your promise to your people and we fulfilled our promise to our people. for millennia [indiscernible] the last years were an exception and we are grateful that help
was provided. that we are pleased that the security transition has been met according to the timeline that you said. today, the combat role of the united states in afghanistan is over. but the training, advice, and assist mission is a vital part of our collective interests. tragedy brought us together. interests unite us. and we can assure you that the government of national unity is revitalized the partnership and looks at this partnership with the united states as foundational. not just for afghanistan's stability but for regional and global stability. and the flex ability that has been provided for 2015 will be used to accelerate reforms, to
ensure that the afghan national security forces are much better left equipped trained, and are focused on their fundamental mission. i am pleased to say that the departure of 120,000 international troops has not brought about the security gap or the collapse that was often anticipated. i would like to pay tribute at this moment to the continued sacrifice of security forces civilians, and a patriotic nation. participation is simultaneously our nationalism. we have embraced democratic ways. we are very proud of our islamic civilization that is truly in dialogue with the world. and we have the capacity to speak truth to terror.
they do not speak for islam. we do. it is the genuine islam that is interested in dialogue with civilization, in cooperation, and develop forward. on regional cooperation, we have taken both steps -- we hope these steps will be reciprocated because the threat that exists the changing ecology of terror, are making it imperative that all governments cooperate with each other. today, the state system as we have known it is under attack. these are not classic national liberation movements. these are distracted nihilistic movements. it is essential that we -- these are destructive nihilistic movements. it is essential that we move together.
afghan citizens desire peace. any political difference anything that defies that must be [indiscernible] we have shown the sdom and determination thate can arrive at unity of purpose. so our commitment to peace is clear. what we require is reciprocity so that afghan patriots will choose their country over themselves and it result -- that you will not have peace with those who use our territory as a proxy for other purposes, as a battleground for alien forces or as a launching pad for global terrorism. this trip has provided us an opportunity to have a comprehensive overview. again, i want to express thank you for your commitment to
submit the bill to congress for support of our security forces through 2017. there is much work that lies ahead of us. and the flexibility that has been provided will be used to maximum effect, to accelerate reforms to ensure that our security forces on her human rights -- on her human rights -- honor human rights, a binding police force, secret service to the people, violence against our people has no place within our security culture and we will overcome those types of legacies. and again, a pleasure to be standing next to a graduate of columbia university. [laughter] there is much of that unites us. your mother was an inspiration to us.
he invoked your mother's teachings to convince that anthropologists [indiscernible] president obama: we will take a couple of questions. reporter: with the increased slowdown and the drawdown here, we are looking at more risk more danger for u.s. troops that are in afghanistan. how do you justify that to them? how do you tell them the mission is still worth it? how do you assure than there is an end coming to this mission? after president ghani you talked about the sacrifice of u.s. troops. how do you tell them that this continued sacrifice will be worth it to them as well? pres. obama: first of all, it is
important that we are to remember that the timeline for a withdrawal down to an embassy-centered presence, a normalization of our presence in afghanistan remains the end of 2016. so that hasn't changed. our transition out of a combat role has not changed. i am the first to say as long as our men and women in uniform are serving in afghanistan there are risks involved. it is a dangerous place. casualties have come down precipitously as we engaged in the drawdown. it's been over 90 days since two americans were killed in afghanistan. that has occurred precisely
because we are not in a combat role here i think it is worth noting the significant casualties that the afghan security services have incurred as we have drawn down, they have stirred up -- they have stood up and they are fighting. they are fighting with courage and tenacity and they are getting better month by month. but you'll can't minimize the sacrifices that our military families make. it means some folks will be rotating back into afghanistan for a few extra months relative to what otherwise would have been the case. we are essentially moving the drawdown pace over to the right for several months, in part to compensate for the late fee period it took for government formation and part because we want to make sure we are doing every weekend to help afghan security forces succeed, so we don't have to go back, so we
don't have to respond in an emergency because terrorist activities are being launched out of afghanistan. we are on the path to do that and it was my assessment that it made sense for us to provide a few extra months for us to be able to help on things like the just ask, making sure that equipment is not just in place but also used properly, that the training and advising and strategic input that has been provided continues through this fighting season in part so that president karzai who has taken on the mantle of commander-in-chief that we have not seen in the past from an afghan president can do a serious review and can assess here is where our strengths are, here is where our weaknesses are, and we can proceed with more effective joint planning going forward.
the bottom line is, out of men and women -- the bottom line is our men and women in uniform do in our sacrifices. their families do, too. this will mean that there will be some of our folks who are in afghanistan under the new schedule who would have been home. but it is important to keep in perspective, first of all, that we have gone down from 100,000 to under 10,000. that they are not on the front lines because they are not in a combat role. we are doing all that we can do to make sure that force protection is a priority for those who are in afghanistan. and the date for us to have completed our drawdown will not change. but it is my judgment, the judgment of general campbell and others who are on the ground that providing this additional
time frame during this fighting season for us to be able to help the afghan security forces succeed, is well worth it. in that sense, once again we are asking our men and women in your arm to fight on behalf of our freedom and on behalf of a more orderly world. it does perhaps raise one thought, which is right now there's a debate going on on capitol hill about budgets. this would be a good time for my friends up on capitol hill including on the other side of the aisle, to take a look at their budgets. if we are holding both our defense and nondefense budgets to 20 -- to 2006 levels, it is a lot harder for us to do the job we need to do, not only on the national security site but also here at home, making sure that come up when our men and women
come home and when they potentially go into civilian life that they had a strong economy, that their kids have good schools, that they can send their kids to college, that they can get veterans benefits that they have so richly earned and deserved. that would be a good way for us to express the thanks for the sacrifices they consistently make. pres. ghani: i met yesterday the widow of general grady. she would like the memory of her husband to be preserved by a sustainable afghanistan that is secure. the 22,000 americans that have died must not die in vain. they must leave behind a legacy
of a stable afghanistan. it is the preservation of those gains that i think inspires the american servicemen and women to obey the call of their commander , the order of their commander. second, we have taken them out of harms way. as the president mentioned, for the past hundred days because the combat role the exposure the number of casualties is really down, the most horrible reading of my day is the middle of the day and end of a security reports where i see the casualty report to. jan campbell is making sure that they remain in support role, the train, advice, assistance role has risks, but nowhere compared
to combat role. in the end of that combat role is very significant to this. again the institutional gains that will be achieved through the train, advise and assist roles is what will guarantee that investments of the last 14 years pay off in terms of gains that wins -- that would ensure. last point, afghanistan is the frontline. because of american engagement in afghanistan, there have not been attacks on mainland united states. let's not forget that fortresses cannot be built around countries are continents. we are living in an interconnected world and our security is joined together.
reporter: you are talking about a long-term strategy with the united states. at the same time, you are talking about the withdrawal of soldiers from afghanistan and how do you ensure the long-term or how do you define the long-term strategy partnership from 2017 onward? reporter: mr. president what do you expect -- what was your expectation coming to the united states and what would you like to return with two afghanistan? pres. ghani: our expectations were that our cooperation would be enhanced and we would have clear vision and practical vision for cooperation for an enduring cooperation with the united states to be th